MLA Report: Working to preserve our watersheds

I (heart) Watersheds event takes place on Saturday at the Cordova Bay United Church

There are hundreds of people in our community who volunteer to improve our local environment. They often organize around a particular part of nature or natural life. It might be helping to restore a stream so salmon can once again use it to spawn, or to protect a forest stand that holds endangered wildlife and trees that are hundreds of years old.

There are literally dozens of streams, rivers, bogs, wetlands, lakes and other natural places in Saanich that are cared for by our volunteering friends and neighbours.

It makes sense to focus in on specific parts of an ecosystem, it helps to set priorities and makes goals more achievable. But it also means that all these different individuals, societies, associations, volunteer groups and charities can feel separated or disconnected from each other.

To strengthen our interconnectedness and celebrate all the volunteers who work to restore and protect our precious watersheds, I am very pleased to invite you to a dinner and family-friendly event: I (heart) Watersheds. It will take place on Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Cordova Bay United Church, from 5:30-9 p.m.

Highlights to expect: working watershed models; more than a dozen local non-profit exhibitors; a “locavore” dinner (we are sourcing fresh food ingredients from close by);  live music (recording artists and prohibition-era jazz band, the Capital Syncopators); fun and educational activities for children (the event is designed to be for all ages); a photo-booth; and  a celebratory certificate presentation for watershed volunteer community leaders.

A “watershed” is a good way to think about our interconnectedness. Watersheds are physical spaces that hold, filter and move rainfall. They include streams, rivers, lakes, bogs and inlets.  There are two watersheds that cover almost all of the constituency of Saanich South, named after the Colquitz River and Tod Creek. Watersheds are all around us and essential to our health and well-being even if we sometimes take them for granted.

Watersheds are often called “arteries of the land,” that is how important they are.

Watersheds filter water so we can drink it; they recharge reservoirs and aquifers  and are critical to our local farmers, they give life and nourishment to countless species of fish, birds, invertebrates and mammals; they hold together larger ecosystems and clean and refresh the water, soil and air that we and all beings require to survive and thrive.

When appreciating the importance of sustainable watersheds in our communities, we must begin by acknowledging the great debt we owe to the Coast Salish people. They preserved the richness of the environment we live in today for thousands of years before colonization in the 19th century.

There are five original First Nations of WSÁNEC (anglicized as “Saanich”): the Tsawout, Tsartlip, Tseycum, Malahat and Pauquachin Nations. As we work to restore watersheds from the impact of settlement and industrialization, we can look to the history and knowledge of the Saanich and Coast Salish peoples for insights and direction.

The event is sponsored by my constituency office as well as the Peninsula Streams Society, Friends of Maltby Lake Watershed Society and the Cordova Bay United Church, with special thanks to the Capital Regional District and the District of Saanich.

Tickets are only $10 (and that includes dinner). Seating is limited: tickets can be picked up Monday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the constituency office, 4085 Quadra St. For more information call my office at 250-479-4154 or visit www.saanichsouth.ca.

Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read